Sleuthfest 2011 has officially wound down, and I’m one of the last ones here, sitting by the conference hotel pool watching the sunshine beat back rain clouds and palm trees wave in the breeze. My first ever trip to South Florida has been terrific.
The conference was a blast — a full-on writers’ conference, with panels on craft from beginning to end. I had a great time talking about plot, and series vs standalones, and about how to do research about law enforcement; and telling down-and-dirty tales during “Book Broads” — where they shut the door, and then What Happens at Book Broads Stays at Book Broads. Unless you bought the CD.
A few photos — here I am with mystery author Deborah Crombie:
The Sleuthfest crew welcomed me into their gang.
And I gave a keynote speech about the writing journey: how I find a book’s center, and how I went from unpublished to published. The audience was very kind. I also got to meet a bunch of fabulous writers, editors, cops, and crime scene investigators.
I also got to see the Broward County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad van, to meet its bomb disposal expert, and learn about its bomb disposal robot. And before you ask: (1) No, this is not the bomb disposal robot that blew up Butterscotch the toy pony. That happened in Orlando, not Broward County. And (2) Yes, when the bomb squad and the crime scene investigation van show up, they park around the back of the hotel, not right at the entrance.
Finally: in case you had any doubt, Dennis Lehane is cool.
Thanks to the BookBitch for the photo of my keynote speech.